As we drove home last night, listening to talkback on the radio, I felt as though I had fallen down the Alice in wonderland hole.
Ok, so I don’t watch the news….don’t keep up with current affairs usually so this is all NEW news to me…
Recently my 17 year old daughter , who likes to follow science related things on the internet had mentioned to me that they have created a printer than creates – MAKES things in 3D form.
“They can make anything mum! Just print it out!”
I was like….yeah yeah….I don’t believe it. How is that possible….in 3D.
We’re not talking something flat, on paper….we’re talking something tangible…whole, look at it from all angles, pick it up and turn it around and it’s all completely there, and real and usable!
But hey, it’s true.
An honest to God revelation to me.
A defining moment actually, listening to them discussing it on the radio.
My husband, daughter and I all listened with interest.
Hubby was excited, thinking about our candle business.
“We could create a mould of ANYTHING, to make candles! How cool is that!”
Considering that these printers, now available to the public, could cost as little as two to three thousand dollars…well, like anything, in a few years when prices come down, everyone might (probably will) have one in the house.
They went on to discuss how, eventually, 3D printers could be used to create artificial tissue, cartilage, even organs and …..even whole limbs.
Organ printing could be taking place in as little as ten years time.
Already they have printed a kidney, miniaturized livers, nerve fibres.
I “think” they are already making ears…..have already successfully used some of these replications within the human body and especially if used by growing them with the body’s own cells….well there goes the whole rejection issue.
Here’s an article….
That’s all I could think…..wow.
The stuff of science fiction.
Basically a replicating machine.
The implications are amazing, wonderful…
Organs damaged by injury or disease, cancer? could all very well just be replaced.
Need new lungs, new liver, new heart?
Hey presto….we’ll just print you out another.
But the more I listened the more creeped out I became.
I had to wonder…..if they are talking about eventually replicating organs….would it be possible, one day to eventually simply print out another entire human being?
Could they eventually find the technology, the scientific way to do THAT?
What about experimentation…..
Is it possible…even remotely, to take DNA of extinct animals and somehow replicate it, grow it….and hey I know I’m getting all crazy imaginative here…but do you think eventually, somehow they could replicate things like Tyrannosaurus Rex’s…..Saber toothed tigers……?
Like…is Jurassic park just some fictional idea, or could it actually in some very distant future…. HAPPEN ?
You don’t even have to just simply replicate things though.
You can design NEW things, through the computer, customise things, improve on things to suit your every need.
They were speaking of this on the radio, of some specially designed toothbrush someone created using a 3D printer to suit the individual mouth.
So…..if you can design things…..things that don’t already even exist…..well, the only limit is imagination isn’t it?
Just mind blowing, for all of us creators out there!
How will this affect the manufacturing industry , I have to wonder?
What about product copy write?
I mean , great….if you can just whip up….what? A new hair brush, new replacement part for your computer….at home!
Why does this, along with the feeling of incredulousness fill me with a sense of unease then?
I know, I know….it’s just my nature. Suspicion….speculating the worst.
But before you accuse me of being thoroughly negative…..be realistic, and look at the bigger picture.
There are those among us who by nature ALWAYS screw the good intentions of good men and women by finding ways to use the positive, for their own evil, selfish, NEGATIVE intentions!
I blurted out in the car….
“But this is TERRIBLE! People are going to be making their own GUNS….WEAPONS, and not just ordinary weapons, but perhaps even super duper not even THOUGHT of weapons!”
My husband thought I was being silly.
Read this….on guns?
(It’s already happening!!!!!)
Along with weapons, won’t there also come the replication of illegal drugs?
Meth labs? Drug dealers? A thing of the past.
Replication….easy, hey presto… Anyone can do it, at home. Just GOOGLE how!
Look, progress is good – well intended, helping people is good….Giving people new organs is good….isn’t it?
Though some part of me wonders….I feel terrible saying this, but if we all end up being able to be cured of every disease through replacement organs…….how will this earth sustain the ever growing population of human beings who live well beyond normal life spans, which already we are helping to do what with all the medical advances we’re making.
What are the ramifications?
Won’t we eventually run out of space….? Natural resources? Food?
Well, wait…..there’s more….
I read an article saying they are working on replicating MEAT.
Why not, if they are talking about replicating human organs?
Why not FOOD…flesh…meat?
Care for a printed burger? A fake steak?
Will we eventually be drinking printed water?
Will we have forests of printed tree’s?
Drive printed cars?
Live in printed houses?
Further and further I am falling down the Alice in wonderland hole pondering this.
How can we KNOW what we have started?
What are the moral, ethical, societal, future of this planet – implications?
In our quest for progress, for improvement…..are we simply opening more and more pandora’s boxes?